Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.
* Keith Silva makes his debut at The Comics Journal with this spectacular review of Derek Van Gieson’s ENOUGH ASTRONAUT BLOOD TO LAST THE WINTER, “an odds-and sods assortment of illustration, microfiction, and photography chronicling Derek van Gieson’s salad days in New York City.”
* Hillary Brown reviews Lynda Barry’s THE GREATEST OF MARLYS.
* Andy Oliver reviews GREEN GRAVES by Liam Cobb, whose “carefully crafted pacing… ensures its doom-laden build-up sweeps the reader away on a wave of inescapable fatalism.”
* Sarah Horrocks on Brendan McCarthy’s DREAM GANG, which is “all about these basic ideas of the exterior of the character mapping to the interior dreaming.”
* Scott Cederlund reviews Sarah Becan’s STOCKHOLM IS SAUCEOME which may, perhaps, feature a sandwich or two.
* John Seven reviews THREE MINI COMICS for The Beat, including Ley Lines, Mini Kus #42, and Space Rope: Mars and Venus
* From earlier this month, but a must-read: Aaron Kashtan’s COMICS CRITICISM: BASIC QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN READING A COMIC
* Julia Gfrörer’s Black is the Color is back in print through Fantagraphics. To celebrate this, here’s an old INTERVIEW she did with Tucker Stone
* The list of EXHIBITORS and list of DEBUT BOOKS at this year’s SPX makes me realize that I will need to bring more cash than I had initially planned (time to sell more blood).
* September 4th is when San Francisco Zine Fest is happening. This list of EXHIBITORS makes me realize that I will probably also need to sell a kidney sometime soon.
* The New York Comics and Picture-Story Symposium will feature a conversation between BENJAMIN MARRA AND JOSH BAYER on August 30th at 7 pm. Someone please go and live-tweet that.
* After a nine-month absence, LARS MARTINSON updated his blog and promises that Tonoharu: Part 3 will be released in November of this year.
* Swapna Krishna’s ON THE FUTURE OF PANELS — the website she edits is not exactly closing on August 31st, but is transforming.
* Alex Mansfield on the concept of “MINDLESS ENTERTAINMENT” where “even as we soak up the endorphins rushing so fast and furious flooding our synapses while indulging in so-called ‘mindless entertainment’ we cannot shut ourselves off to the emotional connection that fuels them regardless of genre or depth or method.”
* Jake Muncy’s WHY I WATCH PEOPLE PLAY VIDEOGAMES ON THE INTERNET really helped to open up my understanding of this phenomenon. He writes, “It’s not community, exactly, but it’s a proxy of one, and I think it’s easy to devalue that unless you personally need it. Proxy communities, through mediated relationships and art, create a space for people to see themselves more clearly and to build a sense of connection with the broader world. When you’re in isolation, proxy communities can help you find real ones.”